In an effort to attract other potential teachers, Tulsa Public Schools has extended the 2022 application deadline for its Tulsa Teacher Corps program until Wednesday.
Launched in 2018 in response to a statewide teacher shortage, the program targets college graduates who did not earn an education degree but have since decided they want to teach.
The accelerated teacher preparation program includes mentorship from instructional coaches, six weeks of hands-on experience during TPS’s summer programming, and two years of classes to prepare participants for the state teaching certification test.
“What we’ve done is create a pathway to education that removes many of the barriers that someone might otherwise face,” said Katy Green, TPS’s executive director for school effectiveness. educators and professional learning.
Among the barriers addressed by the program are tuition and fees to take the additional college courses needed to earn an alternative education certification. Aspiring educators seeking standard certification normally need to complete up to 18 hours of college coursework, depending on their current degree level.
People also read…
In 2020, the Oklahoma State Department of Education approved a request to waive the additional credit hour requirement for Tulsa Teacher Corps participants, as the program offers its own classes at no cost .
For Kendall Wilson, a Tulsa Teacher Corps attendee who now teaches at Monroe Demonstration Academy, the prospect of not having to take out a student loan to get into the classroom has changed her career.
Originally planning a career focused on mental health, Wilson graduated from the University of Central Oklahoma with a degree in psychology. Although her academic background served her well when working with middle school students, she said she would not have been able to pursue a teaching career otherwise.
“I feel like Tulsa Teacher Corps helped me discover my professional purpose,” she said. “Without that, I could not have entered teaching.”